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Full text of "The Ottawa Board of Trade and the empire cables, Ottawa [microform] : March 1st, 1905"

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CIRCULAR tCTTER No. 3 






• \ 



THE 



Ottawa Board of Trade 



AND 




THE EMPIRE CABLES 



OTTAWA, MARCH 1st, 1905 



db> 



amOUUIt IKTTCR No. « 



(TV O^ttama Ihavh of ^mht 

HESPEOTINO 

THE EMPIRE CABLES 



/o wAom it may concern:— 

Sirs, — We have the honor to submit the documents which 
follow, furnishing jvidence of the attitude of business men and 
the Chambers of Commerce of the Empire on a question regarded 
as vitally important. 

The members of the Board of Trade of the City of 
Ottawa, Canada, have long had under consideration the sub- 
ject of a comprehensive scheme of telegraph nervice. They 
have had in view a service wliich would best promote the trade 
of the Empire, foster mutual intercourse, and in the highest 
degree advance the common interests of the British people 
throughout t)ie world. 

Ine Board has endeavored to consult public opinion in the 
several over- sea British poasessions and has placed itself in com- 
munication with commercial associations and individuals in all 
parts of the Empire. The replies received strengthen and con- 
firm the views long held by the Board that there should be es- 
tablished as speedily as practicable a continuous chain of state- 
owned Cables and Telegraphs to link together in the most ef- 



fective iimnner, tlie Mother country. Canada, New Zealand, 
Audtralitt, India, Soutli Africa and the W.jst Indies. 

Such a chain of telc^aph Coblea desi^cned to girdle the 
Globe without touching rr traversing any land not British has 
been desiKnatcU The Empire Cablos. The Pacific Cable as the 
initial link of the world girdling chain was strongly advocated 
by the Ottawa Board until arr.iDgetuents were effected for 
estal)lisliing that portion of the scheme as a joint state 
undertaliing. 

In 1901 the Board issued a circular letter furnishin„' 
ample explanations respecting the complete scheme of Empire 
Cables. A large edition, in pamphlet form, was printed and 
copies were transmitted for general information to the various 
associations representing trade, commerce and manufactuije in 
each of the widely sundered countries to bo benefited. This 
pamphlet consisting of 44 pages of printed matter comprised the 
following documents, viz. : — 

1. Post Office Reforms in the Victorian Era and the de- 
velopment of an Imperial OaUe Service. 

2. A State-Owned system of Electric Cables for the Em- 
pire, addressed to the Bt. Honourable Joseph Chamberlain, 
Colonial Secretary, 1898. 

3. State-Owned Telegraphs for the Empire, addressed to 
theRt. Honourable the Earl of Hopetoun.Ooveinor General 
of Australia, 1900. 

4. A State-Owned Telegraph service girdling the globe, 
addressed to the Hon. Wm. Mulock, P. M. G. Canada, 1901. 

5. Proposal to Notionalize the Telegraph Service of the 
Empire. Letter to Deut.-Col. Denison, President of the 
British Empire in League in Canada, 1901. 

6. A Pan-Brittanic Cable Service. Resolution of the Brit- 
ish Empire League in Canada, at the Annua! Meeting, 1901 . 



Ill April 1004, tliti Konnl iNHtieil a m^coimI circular letter in 
which WHS submitted, - 

(1) Fiirthnr iiiforiiiatioii on tho suhjpct of Kinpire Onblcs 
pr< pnrwl by a insmlwr of thp Koard 

(2) Kpsiiliition Btlopted by tl»> Fifth C'onfjresK of tlr 
('hainbprs (.> Commcrco of the Kinpiie, held in Montreal, fn- 
ada. in August, 190A. 

(.3) Minute adopted by the British Empire League in Can- 
ada at the Annual Meeting, 1004. 

The second circular letter, like the first, found its way to 
many centres of political and commercial iiiHuences in both 
hemispheres. The responses received furnish irrefragible 
evidence that the British communities throughout the worlu 
desire to be Ui'.ited by the closest clt^cti'ical connections, and 
that the means of telegraph intercourse should be entirely freed 
from the exactions imposed by certain private companies. 
The correspondence testifies to the fact that far sighted busim ss 
men in all the British Dominions are in favor of the scheme 
of Empire Cables. Such men see that by and through this 
means of mutual i: '"rcourse.tbe cost o.' over .sea telegraphy will 
lie enormously reduced, that British trade will bo greatly pro- 
moted, and that unity of sentiment will be awakened and effec- 
tively fostered. 

The correspondence which has been suiiimarized in the 
repori, of the Council of tlic Hoard indicates an extraor- 
dinary concurrence of feeling throughout tli i Empire on this 
particular subject. Whatever difference of opinian may ex- 
ist among business men on fiscal and other questions there 
is absolutely no difference with ' aspect to the policy of establish- 
ing the Empire Cablss ; the necessity of this new Imperial Ser- 
vice is re tnized, it is regarded as an essential part of the 
machinery . jr developing and consolidating the Empire. 

The Board of Trade of t he Capital of the C,:n.'idiaii Domin- 
ion has much satisfactior in submitting the report which 



{ollowA for the information of all coneerned in the well-being 
of the Britinh peoplu In every lonKitude. 
\Vc havu till' honor to bo 

Vour ohvdieot BervantH, 

D. MURPHY 

Prtiidtnt 
CECIL BETHUNE 

Stcrtiary 

REPORT OF THE COUNCIL 




Agreeably to the direction of the Board, the President and 
Council on April aoth of last year, issued a circular letter re- 
affirming the hearty approval and concurrence of the members ul 
the Ottawa Board of Trade, in the movement to complete the 
Cables of the Empire. The President and Council sent the cir- 
cular letter to various organized bodies representing British trade 
interests in all parts of the world. The communication forward- 
ed contained full and complete explanations respecting the pro- 
posed system of Imperial Telegraphy, designed to bring into 
the closest possible touch all the self-governing British possession', 
in each of the five continents. 

The Council invited an expression of opinion respecting the 
movement in order that a judgment might be formed as to the 
views of the British people generally, and especially those engag- 
ed in trade throughout the world. Many replies have been re- 
ceived and with singular unanimity all expressions of opinion aic 
in favor of the movement. 

In order that the Imperial and Colonial Governments should 
be made aware of the character of the movement, communication' 
were addressed to each of them. Courteous acknowledgments 
have been received through His Excellency the Governor General 
and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, fronl THEIR MOST 
GRACIOUS MAJESTIES THE KING AND QUEEN, and 
from THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE PRINCE AND 
PRINCESS OF WALES, and the DUKE OF CONNAUGHT. 

Special mention may likewise be made of other acknowledg- 
ments, namely: — 



' ^ 



"THE GOVERl MENT OF MADRAS. INDIA, 
" tranimiU tytnpathetic expressions of opinion in favor ni 
" the proposal, from the Chamber of, Commer - Madras, anil 
" from the Madras Trade Association." 

"THE BENGAL CHAMBER OF COMMUKCK, 
"CALCUTTTA, is entirely in 8ympat^v with the idra "f an 
"all British cable communication throi ^hout the Enin'r.- 

"THE UPPER INDIA CHAMBER OF COM- 
" MERGE, CAWNPORE, cordially supports the sthemc 
" and offers its co-operst! . • in the movement designed to 
" serve great Imperial er.o.- secure cheaper telgraihy, and 
"promote trade." 

" THE RANGOON TRADE ASSOCIATION is >te 
" in accord writh the Ottawa Roard of Trade and .xprcss-f 
" the opinion that the Empire cables v add meci a great 
"want, and be the means of materially ducing telenrapiuc 
" rates." 

"THE GOVERNMENT OF BURMAH sy.npathues 
" with the objec. the Board has in view in connectin ill 
"parts of the British Empire by means of .State ', , od 
" cables." 

"THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, SINGAPORE, 
" fully recognizes the great importance of the proposal to 
" complete the cables of the Empire, and will consider how 
" they can assist the movement." 

"THE ORANGE RIVER CHAMBER OF COM- 
" MERGE, BLOEMFONTEIN, entirely approves of the 
" scheme and would be glad to see it carried into effect." 

"The; chamber of commerce of the city 

" OF GEORGETOWN, DEMARARA, views with satisfac- 
" tion any advance that can be made towards Empire Cables, 
" and Imperial Postal Cable services, and will be glad to see 
"the speedy accomplishment of an unbroken chain aroimd 
" the Globe, under our own control and entirely State owned, 
" giving all British people the speediest, cheapest, freest and 
" most effective intercourse throughout the Empire." 



" THE TRINIDAD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE is 
" in hearty sympathy with the efforts of the Ottawa Board 
" of Trade to extend and complete a system of British cables 
" throughout the Empire under State control." 

"THE CONFEREN'CE OF QUEENSLAND CHAM- 
"^ BERS OF COMMERCE holds the opinion that the Em- 
" pire system of cables touching British territory only, con- 
■' trolled and owned by the State, should receive the support 
"of the Federal Government. This Conference gives its 
"hearty support to the resolution adopted by the Montreal 
" Congress of the Ch.- mbers of Commerce of the Empire." 

"THE BUNDABERG CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 
" places on record its entire approval of the movement for 
" the extension and completion of the system of Empire 
" Cables (of which the Pacific Cable forms a part), believing 
" that thereby the cost of cable messages will be materially 
" reduced, that the business relations between the different 
" parts of the Empire will be greatly facilitated, and that in 
" the event of war such a system would be invaluable." 

"THE BRISBANE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 
" strongly holds that the Empire system of cables, touching 
" British territory only, controlled and owned by the State, 
" should receive the support of the Federal Government of 
'■ Australia, and gives its support to the resolution adopted 
"by the Montreal Congress of Chambers of Commerce of 
" the Empire." 

" THE ROCKHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COM- 
" MERGE is of the opinion that it is of the utmost import- 
" ance to the trade and to the social and political relations 
"of the British Empire that the various States comprising 
" the Empire should be in communication with each other 
" and the United Kingdom by State owned electric telepra- 
"phy. This Chamber heartily approves of the action taken 
" by the Ottawa Board of Trade to further the movement." 

"THE TOOWOOMBA CHAMBERS OF COM- 
" MERGE expresses hearty concurrence in the movement 
" advocated by the Ottawa Board of Trade." 



"THE WARRNAMBOOL CHAMBER OF COM- 
" MERGE strongly endorses the resolution of the Montreal 
" Congress of the Chambers of Commerce of the Empire as 
" to the imperative need of the Empire Cables." 

"THE BRITISH EMPIRE LEAGUE OF AUS- 
"TRALIA at a meeting in Sydney, on September 22nd, 
"1904. gave formal expression to the opinion that all the self- 
"^ governing British communities around the Globe should be 
'' united by a continuous chain of State owned telegraphs ; 
'' that such an Inter-Imperial line of communication would, 
"under Government control, put an end to the difficulty 
" which has been caused in Australia by the; allied cable com- 
" panics, and remove all friction which has arisen between 
"the partners in the Pacific Cable; that it would lower the 
" charges to a minimum on oversea messages passing from 
"New Zealand, Australia, India, South Africa, the West 
"Indies, Newfoundland, Canada and the mother country; 
^' that it would provide a double means of communication at 
" low uniform rates between the mother country or any one 
'^British State, and all self-governing British States; that 
" it would constitute the most effective means by which the 
" several governmental units of the Empire may hold com- 
" munion with each other whenever they desire ; and that while 
"it would be of the highest importance to th» commercial and 
" social interests of the British people around the world, it 
"would by tlie subtle force of electricity at once promote 
■' the consolidation of the Empire, and prove an indispensible 
" factor in Imperial unity; that this League views with satis- 
" faction the steps towards this end being taken by the Board 
■'of Trade of the City of Ottawa, and the British Empire 
" League in Canada, and assures those bodies of this league's 
" co-operation and its doing whatever may be possible to fur- 
" ther the movement in Australia." 

" NEW ZEALAND is in full sympathy with the move- 
" ment, and there is abundant evidence of the hearty recep- 
" tion given to the proposal. It will suffice to state that the 
" circular letter issued by the Ottawa Board of Trade ,-ith 
" tlie several explanatory appendices have been reprinted in 



10 

" full and presented to both houses of the General Assembly 
"by command of HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR 
" GENERAL." 

The most satisfactory, sympathetic and encouraging com- 
munications have been received from Chambers of Commerce and 
manufacturers in the United Kingdom. Special mention may be 
made of responses from LIVERPOOL, NOTTINGHAM, WOL- 
VERTON, WALSALL AND DISTRICT, BRADFORD 
HECKMENDWICKE, LEEDS, BURY, LONDON GL \S-' 
GOW, EDINBURGH, DUBLIN, CLECKHEATON BAT- 
LEY, THE SOUTH OF SCOTLAND, GALASHIELS, KIRK- 
CALDY, EAST LONDON, BELFAST AND BIRMINGHAM. 
That every centre of trade of the United Kingdom should 
warmly support the movement to complete a close electric union 
between the British people throughout the world is not surpris- 
ing, when we bear in mind that they were so well represented at 
the Montreal Congress of 1903, and that such Congress passed 
with absolute unanimity the most comprehensive resolution on the 
subject yet placed on record. 

It is scarcely necessary to state that there is no difference of 
opinion in Canada. The centres of Trade and Chambers of Com- 
merce throughout the Dominion have practically declared them- 
selves in favor of the project set forth in the circular letter of 
the Ottawa Board of Trade of April 20th last. 

A copy of the circular letter is appended. Nearly a thous- 
and copies were issued. The responses from every quarter of 
the Globe are singularly favorable to the movement ; not a single 
adverse reply has been received ; no argument has been advanced 
against the public policy of completing without loss of time the 
comprehensive scheme known as THE EMPIRE CABLES. 

The President and Council, having endeavored faithfully 
to carry out the instnictions of the Board in this matter, have 
much pleasure in placing the gratifying results of their efTorts 
before the general meeting. 

Signed on behalf of the Council of the Board. 

JOHN R. REID, 
CECIL BETHUNE. President. 

Secretary. 



ilil 



CIRCULAR LETTER 



THE EMPIRE CABLES 



Referred to In the foretolng Report 






The Board of Trade, Ottawa, April 20th, 1904. 
To whom it may concern : 
Sirs, — 

1. The President and Council of the Ottawa Board of Trade 
have the honor to re-affirm the hearty approval of its members 
in the movement to complete the Cables of the Empire. 

2. The President and Council, under instructions from the 
lioard, beg leave to submit for consideration the explanations 
given in appendix A. The facts and arguments therein brought 
forward will be found to appeal strongly to every man who has 
the well-being of the British people at heart. The deliverance 
of the Fifth Congress of the Chamber of Commerce of the Em- 
pire, held in Montreal in August, 1903, will be found in appendix 
B. The deliberate and frequently repeated opinion of the Em- 
pire League in Canada will be found in appendix C. 

3. The President and Council invite expressions of general 
concurrence in this great Imperial movement; they especially ask 
the co-operation of every Chamber of Commerce and Board of 
Trade throughout the Empire. To make co-operation effective 
it is suggested that individual Chambers may express their views 
by resolution; such taken in concrete, will have a powerful in- 
fluence on the several governments concerned. 

4. The co-operation of other bodies or individuals will be 
cordially welcomed. 



13 

S. The President and Council respectfully ask that they may 
be informed with respect to all action taken, and that copies of 
resolutions may be transmitted to the President or Secretary. 

In the name and by the authority of the Board of Trade of 
the Capital of the Dominion of Canada, we ask all concerned to 
assist in forming public opinion in, favor of the speedy completion 
of the sch«me of Empire Cables. 

We have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servants. 



CECIL BETHUNE, 

Secretary. 



JOHN R. REID, 

President. 



\\ \ 



APPENDICES 



A — Explanatory Note, furnished at the request of the Ottawa 
Board of Trade, for general information on the sub- 
ject, of the Empire Cables, by Sir Sandford Fleming, 
K.C.M.G. 

B — Resolution adopted by the Fifth Congress of the Chambers 
of Commerce of the Empire, held in Montreal,, Can- 
ada, in August, 1903. 

C — ^MiNUTE adopted by the British Empire League in Canada, 
at the annual meeting on February i6th, 1904. 



APPENDU A. 

THE EMPIRE CABLE? 

Explanatory Note, furnished at the request of the Ottawa Board 
of Trade, by Sir Sandford Fleming, K.C.M.G. 

The term " Empire Cables " is understood to mean a system 
of Empire-girdling, state-owned Cable-telei,i;;phs, established in 
an unbroken chain around the globe. " The Empire Cables " are 
designed to connect, telegraphically, in the most complete man- 
ner, the several groups of self-governing British communities in 
Europe, America, Australasia, Asia and Africa. 

It is held that the Empire Cables should be state-owned for 
the . jUowing and other reasons, viz. : 

1. In order that they may be wholly removed from the con- 
trol of companies, whose chief object is to make profits by main- 
taining as high rates as possible on messages 

2. In order that the cost of telegraphing throughout the Em- 
pire may be reduced to a minimum. 

3. In order that the British people, geographically separateo 
by the oceans, may be brought within touch by a means of inter- 
course as free and unrestricted as possible. 

4. In order that the governments of all the self-governing 
British peoples within the Empire may be enabled to confer with 



u 

mmua/concVrn." '™"' "'" "■' ^'^^'"' '='^""^- °" ™"'" 
cafinn' Jll"'"''" ""at no portion of these great lines of cn.nmun 
"rorifritS^inTer^Its""^" '"""'""• "^ "^ "^^'' '° "^ ^^^ 
n.c """.Empire Cables are, for greater securitv and eflfectivi 
o^f^'rKr^to^:^'" '" ""•' -'"'"■ ^"' '" •-^''- - '--' 

aro.Jrf'lr^ K^P*")' ''^"'"' '°™'"e ""'^ unbroken chai 
around the globe under one control, would provide a doub' 
means of telegraphing, that is to say, easterly as well as v.es°eri; 
between any one British state and any other Brf ' st^te B 
the removal of every restriction possible, it would stunu ate com 
mercjal, social and political intercourse between he verM pa™ 
and tend in every way to strengthen the Empire. ^ 

. This electric bond of Empire has for some time been nro 

ron!?- ■' '!«*' °rr^ ^* '^' fi"' Colonial Conference helSh 
London in .887, and the, second, held in Ottawa in 180^ Yt ma 
be described as consisting of four divisions, viz. : • 

„M '• From the United Kingdom to the Pacific, embracine a 
cable across the Atlantic and land lines through Canada. ^ 

,^A \ \ "^v^^ ^"?^^ ""= P*"''<= from Canada to New Zealan.l 
Ocean." '■ "'* '""'' """ '"^''S" -'^"^'"■i^ toThe IndTan 



3. A cable from Australia across the Indian Ocean 
Africa, with a branch from Cocos Island to India 



■ South 



Ascensi™ '^hl^ w "I ?S- '^''^" '^ "^'^ United Kingdom via. 
Canada ' "'*'" '"^ Bermuda, with a branch to 

The proposal to establish tl e first of these four divisions has 
for sonie time been before the Canadian public, and I f^" war 
h^i K."/''r"? ""?' " '^ ''^^^■'Ati with much favor It cannot 
be doubted that in the event of the Canadian Government proceed 
louver"' wouldl^ '^'^f^Ph. service between London and Van- 
Ae I^^minTon '"'""=' "'"' ^^""^' ^^"^^-«°" '"roughout 

The second division is an established fact, ha-ine- been stir 
cess ully carried out under a partnership arrangement between six- 
British Governments, viz.: the Home rK>vernment the Canadfan 
^rTiSt'^rifanl^^urslatd.''' ^^^ Zealand, ^^^loth 



)n matters of 



15 

I There remain divisions three and four to complete the whole 
iseries of Empire Cables. The principle of state ownership and 
I state partnership having been adopted in respect to the Pacific, 
the extension of the principle to this the second half of the globe- 
girdling system would seem to follow naturally ; but obstacles are 
met, the character of whic!. call for explanation?, and the means 
of overcoming them require to be considered. 

With respect to the difficulty which has been raised and the 
complications which have been caused, they are directly traceable 
to the efforts of certain companies — the owners of cables between 
Asia and Australia. From the first the scheme of Empire Cables 
has been bitterly opposed. Ever since the Colonial Conference 
of 1887 the proposal to establish! submarine te'egraphs, to be own- 
j ed and controlled by the state, has met with determined opposi- 
I tion. The companies referred to have enjoyed a rich monopoly, 
; they have exacted very high charges on messages and have drawn 
i from the public enormous profits. While the source of their 
lucrative business is in Australasia, the headquarters of the com- 
panies are in London, and the powerful influence they have been 
able to exercise has been employed at every step and in every 
conceivable way to stifle the proposal to establish state cables. 

When at length it became known that the Home Govern- 
ment, together with Canada, three Australi- - states and New 
Zealand, had resolved to establish the Pacific Cable, the hostile 
companies combined and determined to adopt drastic means in 
order to defeat the new state policy. They saw plainly that a 
state-owned cable across the Paci'ic would lead to similar cables 
traversing the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. They accordingly 
decided to pre-occupy the ground by laying a private cable on the 
route which had previously been selected in the Indian and partly 
in the Atlantic Oceans, for the state-owned line. Moreover, they 
made tempting overtures to the governments of the Australian col- 
onies, offering to reduce the burdensome telegraph charges hither- 
to exacted, provided these governments granted them certain con- 
cessions ; which concessions, it was afterwards discovered, woulc' 
enable the combined companies to ruin the commercial outlook j i 
the Pacific Cable, and possibly lead to the companies gaining con- 
trol of that undertaking itself. 

Unfortunately the then Government of New South Wales lis- 
tened to the overtures and granted what the companies desired. 
Now the commonwealth inherits the act of New South Wales, 
and the objectionable terms secured by the companies cannot be 
rescinded in an ordinary way. 

These, in brief, are the circumstances which led to the diffi- 
culty in Australia, which has perplexed the government partners 



16 

in the Pacific Cable, and caused much iriction. There is a col- 
lision of interests — private on the one hand, public and Imperial 
on the other. The Companies have command of great wealth 
and bent on their own aggrandisement at the expense of the gen- 
eral good, have adopted a bold and aggressive policy. In the event 
of their diMgns succeeding thiy would hold firmly in their grasp 
the Inter-Iniperial Cables, which should all be under Imperial 
conti ol. 

Every patriotic man will see the need of those great lines of 
communication, defined as Empire Cables, being absolutely re- 
moved from the control of companies or individuals whose hieh- 
est aim is to make profit, and who, in this case would accomplish 
that object by levying higher taxes than necessary on the inter- 
course of the people. Mo'eovcr, to leave any portion of the Em- 
pire Cables in the control of companies would be to invite greater 
difficulty. It must not L^ forgotten that the property of com- 
panies is transferable to purchasers willing to pay the stock mar- 
ket price; and thus a company financed in London, as a British 
Company, may come to be controlled by foreign owners. Ob- 
viously the Cables of the Empire, unless absolutely state-ow.ied 
and state-controlled, may, without attracting attention, cease to 
be British, and thereupon be employed in a, manner detrimental to 
British interests. 

At the last annual meeting c '' e British Empire League 
in Canada a minute was adopted, the fourth clause of which reads 
as follows: 

" The Empire Cables would actually be the great nerves of 
II the Bmpi:., and this League firmly holds the opinion that what- 
"ever else may remain the property of private companies or 
" trusts, the Empire alone should own its own nervous system." 

Every sane person must give his adhesion to the principle 
laid down by the League, that the electric nerves of that complex 
organism which we designate the British Empire, should be en- 
tirely removed from danger; that thev should be in the sacred 
keeping of the state alone ; that they should be allowed free play 
to produce and maintain a community of sympathy, and thus 
prove a potent factor in carrying out the destiny of the British 
people. 

There can be no objection to private companies owning cables 
other than those within the circle of Empire Cables. In all cases 
when the former intersect the latter, they would assume the posi- 
tion of branches, and as such they would greatly gain by the 
CO lection. The tnie policy for the governments will be to re- 
duce charges on telegraph messages transmitted by the Empire 



17 



Cables to the very lowest rates, resting content with no higher 
revenue than may be required simply to make the service self- 
supporting. If this policy be adopted two results will assuredly 
follow: (i) The volume of telegraph busincsss c'"veloped by 
the globe-encircling system will become enormous; (2) The 
charge for transmission will eventually be reduced to a point far 
lower than the dreams of the most sanguine. Both results will 
benefit the private companies owning the connecting lines, as the 
low rates on the Imperial trunk system will bring a continuous 
stream of profitable telegraphic traffic to the branch lines for dis- 
semination. 

The subject of the Empire Cables was considered by the 
Fifth Corgress of the Chambers of Commerce of the Empire at 
the Mon' -eal meeting last August The action taken by that 
united body was most significant This parliament of represen- 
tative commercial men from all parts of the British world, pledged 
itself to the project as a new cohesive force — an electric bond of 
union — an indespensable factor in Imperial unity. The resolii 
tion, unanimously adopted, declares that the scheme of Empire 
Cables would put an end to the difficulty which has been caused 
by the allied cible companies in Australia, and remove all frij- 
tion which has arisen b»tween the six governments concerned as 
partners in the Pacific cable. 

What course should then be followed? It has always bccii 
recognize<. that the owners of the private cables are entitled to 
reasonable consideration. Thirty years ago their enterprise in 
laying the pioneer cables to Australia was commendable. Thcv 
received generous government assistance for many years. Tiioy 
exacted and obtained rich returns from the public. Their venture 
has proved exceedingly profitable, and as they have been gathering 
a yearly harvest it is scarcely surprising that they are unwilling to 
relinquish the rich monopoly they have long held. I have said 
they are entitled to due consideration, but the well-being oi the 
whole British people must be considered. If it has become 
a matter of public expediency that the circle of Empire Cables 
should be completed, the companies cannot forever stand in the 
way. They have long been hostile. Shall they continue anta- 
gonistic to the public interests and refuse to recognize ilie public 
needs? The remedy is simple; it is found in the inherent rit;l-t 
possessed by the state to subordinate private to public interes;s 
and exercise the powers of " Eminent Domain." By this well 
known legal principle the private cables necessary to com- 
plete the system of Empire Cables, such as that recently laid from 
South Africa to Western .Australia, may be expropriated, just 
compensation being paid to the present owners. Owing to the 



18 

attitude assumed by the companies this is perhaps the best course 
open, although it is not the only course: the alternative is to lay 
a new cable parallel to the existing private cable for the use of 
the State and for the public advantage. 

In submitting these explanations to the Ottawa Board of 
Trade, by regueft of the President, I may be allowed to express 
my gratification that the subject of Empire Cables is now being 
con.sidered by business men, and that at the Congress of the 
Chambers of Commerce of the Empire in Montreal, those pre- 
sent were a unit in respect to it. On this point I cannot do bet- 
ter than refer to the resolution adopted (appended). We all know 
what business men can do. Their intuitive perception leads them 
to see clearly. Their business habits and training induce them 
to deal with a subject in a business-like way, and m consequence 
the action taken by organized bodies o( commercial men has more 
weight and commands more influence thin that of any other 
class. It will be remembered that it was the Chamber of Com- 
merce of the United Kingdom which commenced and success- 
fully completed the movement for natonalizing the telegraph 
system of the Mother Country. And quite recently the Ottawa 
Board learned from Sir Thomas Barclay, of Paris, how the way 
was paved for the Treaty of Arbitration between France and 
Great Britain. That gentleman, in his address to the Board, ex- 
plained that it was, in a very large measure, owing to the co-oper- 
ation of the great mass of the Chambres de Commerce de France 
and the Chambers of Commer- ■ of England, Ireland and Scot- 
land, that the Treaty was made possible and the ground cleared 
for the heads of these two great European powers concluding 
an international agreement promotive of the peace of the world. 

So likewise in the present movement, if associations of busi- 
ness men in any portion of the Empire follow the example of the 
Montreal Congress and give expression to their views, it will 
have a powerful influence on the respective governments. Co- 
operation of this character cannot fail to be effective ; it will cer- 
tainly tend to produce a community of sympathy in a matter 
which concerns the British "eople in all quarters of the globe. 



I* 

APPENDIX B. 

RESOLUTION ADOPTKD BY THE FirTH CONGRESS Of THE CHAMBER 
or COMMERCE OE THE EMPIRE, HELD IN MONTREAL, CANADA, 
IN AUGUST, 1903. 

That in the opinion of this Congress all the self-governing 
British communities around the globe should be ui .J by a con- 
tinuous chain of state-owned telegraphs. That such an Inter-Ini- 
perial line of communication would, under government control, 
put an end to the difficulty which has been caused in Australia 
by the allied cable comp ues, and remove all friction which has 
arisen between the par' its in the Pacific cable; That it would 
lower charges to a ni.iimum on over-sea messages passing be- 
tween *Iew Zealand, Australia, India, Soulh Africa, the West 
Indies, Newfoundland, Canada and the Mother Coimtry ; That 
it would provide a double means of communication at low, uni- 
form rates between the Mother Country, or any ono British State, 
and all self-governing British States; That it would constitute 
the most effective means by which the several governmental units 
of the Empire may hold communion with each other whenever 
they desire, and that while it would be of the highest importance 
to the commercial and social interests of the British people around 
the world, it would, oy tl;e subtle force of electricity, at once pro- 
mote the consolidation of the Empire and prove an indispensable 
factor in Imperial unity. 



APPENDIX C. 

MINUTE ADOPTED BY THE BRITISH EMPIRE LEAGUE IN CANADA, 
AT THE ANNUAL MEETING HELD IN OTTAWA ON FEBRUARY 
16TH, 1904. 

1. This League has, from the first, strongly favored the 
Empire Cable scheme, a scheme which has been designed to pro- 
mote, in a direct and practical manner, the primary object of 
the League, as expressed in the constitution, that is to say, the 
permanent unity of the Empire. 

2. By the " Empire Cables " is understood a continuous chain 
of cable telegraphs around the globe, touching only British pos- 
sessions, and connecting Newfoundland, Canada, New Zealand, 
Australia, India, South Africa and the West Indies directly with 
each other and with the Mother Country. 



20 

t. The great hcirl of the Kmpire is in the Lnile.l .Kii.K.l;>i". 
ind the Leaiue recognize, that by mean, of the Kmpire I ab e, 
every throb may insUnUy be felt in each Klf-Kovemmg Uriti.h 
community the world over. 

4. The I'.mpire Cables would actually Ik the Kteat iiervis of 
the Kmpire. and this League firmly holds the opinion, that what- 
ever else may remain the property of private companies <ir trusts. 
the Empire alone should own its own nervous sy.tem. 

5. Fully one-fifth of the estimated population of the world 
it Bntish, and wh^ the British island, on the niar«"' ?' '-"/"p"-' 
cover a small pai he f^mpire embraces nearly one-fifth nt inc 
globe', total land .- .face. If we take the superficial area of the 
United Kingdom as a unit of measurement for the purpose ol 
reckoning, we find that I'.-e British fla„- floats over one luindred 
and one such units on the several continents in nearly the follow- 
ing remarkable proportions: 

In Europe — British land surface, one unit. 

In Asia— British land surface, ten unite. 

In Africa— British land surface, twenty units. 

In Australasia— British land surface, thirty units. 

In America— British land surface, thirty units. 

6. The design of the Empire Cable scheme is simply to unite 
these five continental gronps of British units by State-controlled 
cables, laid for greater sfi rity in deep water. 

7 The scVemc originaliv involved the crossing of the thrio 
great oceans of the globe bv submeigtd cal-'es. This League has 
the satisfaction of knowing that substantial progress has been 
made that rne of the oceans has been crossed by a State-owned 
cable that the trans-Pacific cable is 'aid and in successful opera- 
tion from the shores (.; Canada to the shores of New Zealand and 
Australia. There remain to be traversed by national cables, the 
,\tlantic and the Indian i iceans. 

This League is more and iiKire convinced that this gr.at 
Imperial project is of inestimable importance to the trade, to tlio 
social, and to the political relations of the whole British people . 
and that the common interests of every part of the Empire de- 
mand, wih ever increasing urgency, that ihe whole Empire Cabic 
scheme should speedily be accomplished. 



THE PROBLEM OK AN EMPIRE-GIRDLING STATE- 
OWNED TELEGRAPH SYSTEM i» further elucidated in the 
ttret circular letter and pamphlet iHsued by the OtUwo Board 
of Trade in 1901, and in Dr. Johnson's book on the Annals and 
, ii of the Pacific Cubic Project, recently published by Edward 
,j '.nford, London, and James Hope ll Sons, Ottawa. 



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